What you need to know about Mar-a-Lago search special master Judge Raymond Dearie

Judge Raymond Dearie seen in a courtroom drawing in New York in January 2013. Bloomberg hide caption
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Judge Raymond Dearie seen in a courtroom drawing in New York in January 2013.

Reuters Judge Raymond Dearie has been designated as the special master to analyze the documents found during the August court-authorized search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida property by Judge Aileen Cannon.

One of the special master candidates recommended by Trump to whom the Justice Department did not object was Dearie, a 78-year-old former chief judge of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York.

Dearie was given a deadline of November 30 to complete his work after Cannon instructed him to publish interim findings and recommendations “as necessary” during the assessment. The ruling for a special master will be appealed, according to the Justice Department.

What you need to know about the special master’s history is provided below.

REAGAN CHOSE TO APPOINT DEARIE. Dearie was appointed as a federal judge in New York by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1986 at the age of 41. In 2011, he attained senior status. Dearie has “significant judicial experience,” according to Justice Department officials, making her fit for the position of special master.

LAW In 1969, Dearie graduated from St. John’s University School of Law with a law degree. He later worked as an attorney for the Eastern District of New York before Reagan appointed him to the bench. He later served from 2007 to 2011 as chief judge.

People who know Dearie described him as “Fair” in interviews with NPR. The “Platonic ideal of what you want in a judge,” according to federal prosecutor and former senior member of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team Andrew Weissmann, described Dearie as “compassionate” and “fair.”

According to Weissmann, “both prosecutors and attorneys would agree that he is simply so fair,” if you questioned them. It’s remarkable to have a judge who is lauded by both parties in equal measure.

The judge was absent from a court appearance when Weissmann was only beginning his career as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn. Weissmann remembered, “A few days later, I got in the mail a handwritten apology from him.” The judge sent the same letter to the defense attorney. Weissmann remarked, “It was really surprising since judges have a lot of power they don’t need to do that.

Dearie was referred to as a “old-school gentleman and consistently polite” by Daniel R. Alonso, partner at Buckley LLP and a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, in a statement to NPR.

Although always impartial, Judge Dearie “would never tolerate the kinds of arguments that Trump’s lawyers prefer to put out,” according to Alonso.

DEARIE WAS APPOINTED TO THE US FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT FOR A SEVEN-YEAR TERM. Dearie served in this capacity as one of the judges who granted a request from the FBI and Justice Department to monitor Carter Page, who was at the time a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.

This was a component of the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. There were several errors by the FBI in this process , according to the Office of Inspector General for the Justice Department, and of the four surveillance warrants issued by the FISA court, two of them—including one Dearie approved—were ruled unlawful.

A FEW OF HIS MOST NOTABLE CASE FEATURE MOB FIGURES AND AL-QAIDA. Dearie imposed a 40-year jail term on Abid Naseer while serving as an active judge at the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York. The Pakistani, an al-Qaida member, planned to target a Danish newspaper, the New York City subway system, and a retail center in Manchester, England, but he was never successful. Naseer may have received a life sentence.

Naseer, who appeared in court on his own behalf, made an effort to convince the judge that he wasn’t a danger to the community. It is true, he continued, “that I have spent the most of my life seeking knowledge rather than radicalism and fundamentalism. “I am not now and never have been a career criminal.” I know you’re not, Dearie retorted. The terrorist you are.

Dearie has dealt with instances involving organized crime, such as the head of a crime family who attempted to fabricate a mental condition in order to avoid going to trial, engaging in street chatter, public urination, and even urinating on himself. Later, he was punished, but not by Dearie.

DEARIE HAS RECENTLY DEVELOPED INTO AN ADVOCATE FOR SENTENCE REFORM In 2016 he called for a “major rethinking and retooling” of the criminal justice system in remarks to the New York Criminal Bar Association.

He added that he wondered “how we as a society would fare if we took a fraction of the money we spend on warehousing people and invested it in programs to reach those vulnerable to the hollow call of the streets.” “If society relies on the jail cell alone to bring relief to the streets of New York or Chicago, or to fight the heroin epidemic that has invaded our communities, little will change,” he said.

Dearie acknowledged that when he had to impose a mandatory term, there were times when he wanted “to cry out in exasperation, sadness, and wrath.”
He went on:

Too frequently, we as a society ignore the problems, the causes, and the needs, sit back and wait for them to commit crimes before vigorously prosecuting them, hoping for a harsh sentence, and then patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. As a result, a large number of nonviolent offenders end up in prison, the potentially redeemable are frequently destroyed by cruelly lengthy sentences, and the safety of innocent family members is put at risk.

DEARIE TRANSITED TO INACTIVE STATUS AFTER 36 YEARS ON THE BENCH. Dearie made the decision to transition to an inactive status as a judge in August, which is a stage before formal retirement. However, the precise timing of that move is still unknown, one of his employees told NPR. Dearie could take the bench again if necessary despite being an inactive judge.

He said to the New York Law Journal, “I’m going to miss it.”

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